A Clash of Unstable Giants?

A Clash of Unstable Giants?

Just 3 days into 2022, we are once again gifted a clash of Titans. On Monday, 3rd of January, Liverpool travel to London where they face-off against Chelsea in a clash of heavyweights. 2 days after Manchester City travel to North London for their match against Arsenal, London sees another bout that will serve as an indicator of the race for the Premier League crown.

To close out 2021, Chelsea occupy the 2nd spot on the EPL table, and are only 1 point ahead of Liverpool in 3rd, but the London side have also played a game more than Liverpool. Currently, they are 8 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, and 3 points at home to kick off 2022 will be a much needed boost for the Blues.

However, Chelsea have been hit with a fitness crisis as injuries pile up. With defenders Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva and midfielder Reece James out of commission and Andreas Christensen hobbling off the pitch in Chelsea’s stalemate at Brighton, causing serious defensive woes for Thomas Tuchel’s side. With inconsistent performances of late, there is serious doubt to Chelsea’s title hopes for the 2021-2022 season, despite their current placing.

As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp and co. will be looking for redemption following their shock defeat to Leicester City. After slipping to 3rd place below Chelsea, Liverpool must win this tie if they are to be seriously contending for the title. With 18 more games to play, every point is priceless. A positive from the Leicester match was that no one was lost to injuries or suspensions. Barring Thiago Alcantara, most of the Liverpool squad will be available for Jurgen Klopp to call upon.

In their previous encounter earlier this season, Liverpool failed to crack a 10-man Chelsea side as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Anfield. While recent games are in favour of Liverpool, their main source of firepower in the form of Mohammad Salah and Sadio Mane have looked worrying in recent outings, with particularly devastating consequences against Leicester. The duo will have to be at their best on Monday if Liverpool are to fully exploit a severely weakened Chelsea backline at Stamford Bridge.

With both teams occupying top spots on the table but being simultaneously on an uncertain streak, it is a hard match to call. But you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, and I will be taking a shot that Liverpool is winning by a 1-0 scoreline.